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Question mark on the fate of foreign fighters: DSR March 26, 2014

26-3-14 dsrPakistan has witnessed another relatively calm and peaceful day as only one violent militant incident and three security forces actions against militants were reported during the day. The only militant activity was monitored in Kohlu district of Baluchistan where militants blew up three electric towers, which suspended the supply of electricity to the area. The security forces arrested five suspected militants in three separate actions conducted two in Sindh and one in FATA. In Karachi, the security forces foiled a big terror bid and seized a rickshaw, which was carrying about 200 kilograms explosives. In another action in Karachi, CID police arrested operative of banned outfit and recovered ammunition from his possession. The third action associated with forces was reported in FATA where three militants of outlawed outfit Lashkar-e-Islam were apprehended. The forces also recovered ammunition from them. The considerable change in security situation in the country since the start of this month (March) is a positive sign. 

Question mark on the fate of foreign fighters

Peace talks between government and TTP have created serious repercussions for foreign fighters active in the area. In North Waziristan, there are three types of non-local fighters.

1. Those that use to fight against NATO forces and fight across the border

2. Those that fight against Pakistani state and its security forces

3. Those who use the area to train their fighters for operations in other countries like China, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, other central Asian states and western targets.

According to CMC’s sources rifts between local militants and foreign fighters have started to emerged and local population once use to provide support to foreign fighters as a traditional obligation has developed resentment against these fighters. One of the powerful commanders of Hafiz Gul Bahadur group has limited movement of these fighters in his area of control. Our field reports from the area have reported that foreign fighters are relocating in some areas due to unconducive environment in Miran Shah and Mir Ali areas of NWA. However, relocation is done within NWA. Those Pakistani militants working under command of Asmatullah Moavia are struggling for an amnesty for the non-local Pakistani fighters so that they can go back to their homes. However, government is reluctant to announce any kind of amnesty for any group.

Government is not ready to accept foreign fighters in the area but there is least possibility that these fighters will surrender before the forces. If a proper strategy is not devised to address this delicate issue, these fighters may work as spoiler of the peace process. In that scenario that will invite wrath of the local population and militants but they may get support from those groups within TTP who are against peace talks.

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